When Can Minors Be Tried as Adults in Wisconsin?

When Can Minors Be Tried as Adults in Wisconsin?

By Carlos Gamino

In the state of Wisconsin, kids under the age of 18 can be tried as adults. In fact, every state allows minors to be tried as adults under certain circumstances.

There’s a high-profile case involving minors being tried as adults in the courts right now, which leads to one important question: When can minors be tried as adults in Wisconsin? As juvenile law attorneys in Wisconsin, we feel it’s important for parents to understand the differences between the juvenile and adult systems… and to know that being under the age of 18 doesn’t guarantee that a child won’t be tried as an adult.

When Can Minors Be Tried as Adults in Wisconsin?

In the state of Wisconsin, anyone over the age of 10 years who’s charged with homicide or attempted homicide can be tried in adult court. Attorneys can request a trial in juvenile court if they’re under 16, but they must convince the judge that juvenile court would be better for the child—and for society.

Differences Between Juvenile Courts and Adult Courts

Kids convicted of crimes in juvenile courts often face detention in a special facility designed for minors, where they’ll typically have access to educational resources and a number of mental health services. Minors tried as adults face adult sentences—and they’re sent to adult facilities, where they’re less likely to have access to the resources offered to their counterparts in the juvenile justice system.

What to Do if Your Child Has Been Charged With a Crime

For most people with a child who’s been charged with a crime—even a “minor” crime—it’s a good idea to talk to a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney who has experience with the juvenile justice system.

We may be able to help your child. Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free case review. We’ll ask you some questions about the case and give you specific advice you can use to help your child move forward.

Carlos Gamino